NEW YORK – Barclays Center is newer, more elegant and has better nutritional options. Nassau Coliseum has history.
As the New Yorkers islanders shared their domestic matches between the two arenas this season, their fans were always clear in their wishes. He does not care much about Barclays Center, located in Brooklyn. They still love the reconstructed Coliseum, which is far more intimate and much more suitable for the island's base that remains concentrated on Long Island.
"Here's a hockey arena," said Peter Rotolo, who played in the Coliseum in January. "Barclays is like, the scenes are horrible, the seats are terrible, it's a beautiful arena, but it's a basketball arena and a concert arena, never made for hockey."
Fans like Rotol have never fully accepted the move to Brooklyn in 2015 after the franchise spent the first 43 years in the Coliseum, conquering four straight Stanley Cup championships from 1980 to 1984. They complained of bad looks and many obstructed seats in the arena that were built for Brooklyn Nets and sought a return to the Coliseum at Uniondale, 30 miles and seemingly far away.
Their wishes were given a unique arrangement because NHL decided to divide domestic matches between two very different spaces. The arrangement is expected to remain in effect as long as the new arena in the Belmont Park near the horse racing track is not ready for the season 2021-22. The start of construction will not start until May.
All this means that there are two homes for the first place in Iceland at least the next two seasons and what is left of this.
"They never had to leave," said David Levy, a fan of Melville, who accompanied his son and two nephews to the Colosseum match. "We've been here all the time, I'm going to Brooklyn, it's nice, but it's a very, very long journey, this is a lot more convenient, they ruined it when they did not just renew the arena here."
The Islanders have played the first 11 matches this season in Brooklyn and started a match of 18 matches on December 1 in which they shared matches between the halls before closing their schedule from the last 12 on Long Island. The last match at Barclays Center will be on Edward Oilers on February 16, although it has not yet been announced that any matches will be played.
Josh Rosenberg, who lives about 10 minutes from the Colosseum, said he would go wherever he played, but preferred the Coliseum because of his closeness and atmosphere.
"I've been to Brooklyn since they started," Freeport resident at Barclays Center said. "I mean, shit is to pay an additional train ride fee, but I'm a tough admirer. I'll take the Colosseum every day, but I do not mind taking it here." ) a way to better vibrate. All time is packed, all fans and real fans are there. "
The move to Brooklyn was announced in 2012 after an unsuccessful attempt to secure public funding for a new arena on Long Island, and a zoning approval was denied for a privately funded development plan that would involve renovating the Coliseum. It is announced as a 25-year contract and seems to provide the future of the islanders in New York in the midst of conversations that would allow the team to move to another city.
Regardless of the pleasant charm that many have seen in the Old Coliseum, the renovation was welcomed, and the noise level remained deafening.
The number of viewers reflects the fans' preferences.
In seven games at the Coliseum this season, the islanders had an average of 13,568 fans with four sales out of 13,917. They withdrew an average of 10,788 without sales at Barclays Center, which has a capacity of 15,795. Overall, the islands are the last among the 31 NHL teams with an average attendance of 11,599.
Veteran coach Barry Trotz, in his first year with the islands after winning the championship in Washington last season, was fired on the Colosseum as one of the old arenas that fans flock to the ice and help the energy of the home team. He argues that the arena is worth 10-12 additional points during the season compared to other places.
Until now the islands are 5-1-1 on Long Island and 9-6-2 in Brooklyn.
The agreement calls for two arenas to evenly divide the game for three years. This season, the Coliseum gets 21 years, while Barclays gets 20. It is unlikely to be a break in the coming years.
BSE Global, which controls both arenas, shares the fans' desire to play all their games at the Coliseum. The NHL opposed the full return of the island to the Colosseum, mainly because it had less capacity than any other arena in the league, but agreed to a split arrangement.
And players like the Colosseum. The gym and exercise room at Eisenhower Park is a mile away and a half away less than 30 minutes from their homes. For comparison, the afternoon traffic to New York can make way to the Barclays Center for more than 75 minutes. Some players travel to Brooklyn on the Long Island Railroad, and then go to the car.
"At the end of the day it does not matter where you are playing," said veteran Matt Martin. "You have to go there and do your job, take care of business and win hockey games. There is generally no change in the way."